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Cougar carnage

COC wins third straight in blowout fashion

Posted: September 20, 2008 11:09 p.m.
Updated: November 22, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The understudy got a chance to take center stage in Saturday night's show, and he delivered nothing short of a sparkling performance.

College of the Canyons backup quarterback Joey Frias, thrust into the limelight by the suspension of first stringer Brad McClellan, played like a seasoned veteran as he led the Cougars to a convincing victory over Los Angeles Valley College.

Frias ran his team's offense to near perfection and the Cougar defense dominated for the third week in a row as COC steamrolled over the Monarchs 66-7 on homecoming night at Cougar Stadium.

"I was just trying to prove my role on this team," Frias said. "My goal was to keep the rhythm, keep the beat and just keep the offense firing."

The Cougars (3-0) are now undefeated in seven games versus the Monarchs (1-2) since football was reinstated in 1998.

Canyons was without the services of McClellan and two other players -- running back Fred Winborn and reserve wide receiver C.J. Atkins. Winborn, the second-leading ground-gainer in Southern California, was the 2007 Western State Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year.

All three athletes received one-game suspensions for what COC head coach Garett Tujague called "disciplinary reasons." Specifically, Tujague said, the trio paid an unauthorized visit to Valley College's Valley Glen campus during the school week.

That put backup signal caller Frias into the driver's seat. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound sophomore from El Paso, Texas, finished the contest 23-of-33 for 282 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. He also carried the ball for 103 yards and scored a touchdown of his own.

COC's Hayo Carpenter also delivered a standout performance. The sophomore wide receiver established a new single-game school record with 15 receptions. The previous mark of 14 was held by Terence Scott, who set it against Moorpark College in 2006.

Carpenter credited the team's offensive line with enabling Frias to set the table for him.

"They kept my quarterback up so he could go back to progressions and come back to me on backsides," Carpenter said. "Without them, nothing happens."

Carpenter racked up receiving 150 yards and also scored two touchdowns.

Valley scored on the game's first drive when freshman quarterback Bret Visciglia threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to James Walker.

That was it for the Monarchs.

"That's what happens when you play the second-ranked team in the state and third-ranked team in the country," said LAVC fourth-year head coach Jimmy Sims. "We saw film and practiced hard all week long, but it just wasn't enough."

The Cougars countered with 66 unanswered points, including five first-half touchdowns. The first came when Frias threaded the needle on a 33-yard scoring strike to sophomore wide receiver Nate Jones. That was followed by Frias' 1-yard sneak and 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Courtney Pittman.

Sean Quinn's 1-yard blast up the middle and a 13-yard hookup from Frias to Carpenter gave the Cougars a 35-7 halftime lead.

COC place-kicker Ricky Drake opened the second half with a 35-yard field goal. Drake went 9-for-9 in extra-point attempts on the night. Frias then threw a pair of touchdown passes -- a 7-yarder to Carpenter and 14-yard toss to freshman wide receiver Justin Stone.

Eric Brown, normally the Cougars' third-string quarterback, took over for Frias in the fourth quarter. His 4-yard dance over left tackle and 8-yard touchdown sprint sent the Monarchs packing.

Valley's Visciglia was 17-for-32 for 169 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked five times, with COC defensive lineman Marquis Jackson delivering 3.5 of them.

For the first three games of the season, the Cougars have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 176-27.

Those games essentially served as a tune-up for what lays ahead -- next week's rematch with Fullerton College.

A year ago, the Cougars were unable to protect an 18-point, third-quarter lead at home and dropped a gut-wrenching 32-31 decision to the Hornets.

Tujague said he plans to call a team meeting on Monday to cover some COC history.

"We're just going to talk about things that happened in the past, and we're going to make sure they don't happen again," Tujague said.

The opportunity for redemption will occur at 6 p.m. Saturday at Fullerton Union High School.


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